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    These Adorable Turkish Towels From Hoa Kai Are Just What Your Beach Days



    Honolulu Magazine: Published 2017.03.15 09:07 AM

    Don’t get upset, but we’re going to leave you out to dry. In fact, you should probably get pretty excited about it. After all, nobody likes a wet blanket.

    Especially us, which is why we’re throwing in the towel. Well, sort of. Rather, we’re dumping the dime-a-dozen variety and reaching for a leveled-up Turkish towel from Hoa Kai.

    The Kaua‘i-based, family-run company’s team was on the same soggy wavelength when it started the brand last year. After one too many trips to the beach turned their home into a mini towel-drying factory, mom Kelly Kakalia took a step back. Moldy, sand-infested, wet-forever, washing-machine space wasters were piling her out of house and home. No more.

    Instead, they switched to quick-drying, lightweight Turkish towels. Finer fibers help keep grains of sand at bay, and now the Kakalias have downgraded to a single beach bag for their family of four. A perfect fit, but they also wanted to make sure it was a socially copacetic choice, so they did their research and opted for towels from a small village in Syria-bordered, southeastern Turkey made by artisan weavers—not mass-produced by giant manufacturing companies.

    Next step? Share it with the world! And, because the Kakalias are in direct contact with weavers on the production side, they can work with the artisans to produce special prints that fit their (and your) tropical lifestyle. We’re loving the beauties they’ve come up with together, unique patterns that set the Hoa Kai pieces apart in the Turkish towel trend. Think deep, luscious hibiscus foliage, perky birds of paradise or, our favorite, jolly pineapples with stylized flair. Hoa Kai even has a line sporting Hawai‘i artist Heather Brown’s breezy, Island-inspired works. That means, while you’re lounging shoreside, you’ll also be treated to some perfectly on-theme art.

    Pretty exciting, right? Talk about a dry seat in the house.

    $32.95–$49.95 in the Hoa Kai webstore.

    2016: Fall Collection

    Hoa Kai Surf (, makers of 100 percent raw cotton Turkish towels traditionally loomed in Southeast Turkey, announced today their Fall 2016 collection. The line features the first-ever prints on raw cotton, overcoming traditional challenges with bleeding and fading on the fabric to deliver a range of Hawaiian-inspired prints in vintage and bold lines that range from birds of paradise and pineapples to an “Aloha” plumeria print.

    “Our Fall 2016 collection features a range of colors and styles to appeal to a range of consumers, from solids and stripes to vintage, beach-worn patterns that offer a feel of the islands,” explains Kelly Kakalia, founder of Hoa Kai Surf. “Beginning next month, we’ll be introducing our vibrant line of prints, which are fade-resistant and feature our line of patterns in bold, bright colors.”

    Hoa Kai, which translates to seaside companion, was born from a mother’s quest to find an eco-friendly, energy efficient, and high quality towel solution for people who spend time near the water. During the company’s research phase, insight into the history, art, and evolution of the Turkish towel created a secondary purpose for her brand: supporting and reviving the centuries-old art of Turkish towel making for weaving families that had been bankrupted by low quality, polyester-infused imitation towels that have been mass produced elsewhere.

    “Living in Kauai, my family spends five or more days a week at the beach, which means we go through a lot of towels. Terry towels are bulky, get moldy and sandy, and use a lot of energy and water to wash,” adds Kakalia. “My research put me in contact with two families who have been in the weaving industry for generations, leading to a partnership that is committed to creating the best quality products on the market while supporting families whose livelihoods have been threatened by imitation towels.”

    Traditional Turkish towels have been loomed by weaving families since the 17th century for bathhouses, or hamams. They have seen a resurgence in Australia and in surf communities around the globe, due to their compact, absorbent and light-weight qualities. Hoa Kai Turkish towels are made from 100 percent raw, Turkish cotton, grown in the Aegean province of Turkey, known for some of the world’s highest quality cotton.

    For more information about Hoa Kai Surf, its products, or to shop online, visit